tv BBC World News WHUT June 24, 2010 7:00am-7:30am EDT
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>> this is gmt on bbc world news. i'm jonathan trott progress concern about americans traveling to of -- i'm jonathan charles. fresh concern about americans traveling to pakistan. they were charged with plotting terror attacks. a new challenge for a top american general, david petraeus facing a tough struggle in afghanistan, taking over for the sacked stanley mcchrystal a country renowned for its politics. australia gets a female prime minister after a restless party coup. and dmitri medvedev of russia this is america. who is going through and who is going home in the world cup quest we are live in south africa. it will play to the fears of
some americans come harboring eight -- pleaded guilty to try to set off a bomb in times square. another group of u.s. citizens are being convicted of terror offenses. pakistan itself.k again they were accused of contacting militants in pakistan over the internet and of plotting attacks. two are of pakistan the backgrounds, the others of egyptians, yemenis, and eritrean origins. >> on their way to one of the hearings, the case drew much attention both in pakistan and in the united states. the trial itself was held under strict security behind closed doors. these young americans now have 10-year jail sentences after being found guilty of criminal conspiracy and funding of terrorist groups. they have been arrested last
december after their families in the u.s. reported them missing. they pleaded their innocence, saying they intended to travel to afghanistan to provide medicine and financial help. the prosecution alleged emails contacted militants who planned to use them to carry out attacks. they planned to come here to thsouth waziristan, known as a region targeted in a major operation by the pakistani security forces last year. the trial raised further concerned about what is known in the u.s. as homegrown radicalization. following the attack in times square in may in which a utility vehicle loaded with gasoline, propane, fireworks, and fertilizer, waput those concerns
center stage in the u.s. fatal shahzad was arrested aboard a plane to do by two days later. be seen at around the district jail in sargodha -- the deputy prosecutor explained why they were trying to get the sentence is lengthened. >> there were awarded 10 years. >> convictions are often by no means the final word in such cases in pakistan, and not least because of the nationality of the defendants. what happens in this case will continue to be watched very closely. mike woodridge, bbc news. but let's go live to islamabad and join our docca >> let's go live to islam than that enjoyed our correspondent. >> in a country famous or infamous for slow justice, this has been particularly fast. the trial started in march.
you remember the men were only arrested in december, so it has been a very swift legal process that has also been carried out behind closed doors by a special anti-terrorism force which was close not only to the media, but the other outside observers. the five men in question were accused of having come here with the aim of carrying out attacks. police claimed they managed to make contact via the internet with militant groups, and also via the video website youtube. that raised particular concerns for the authorities both here and in the united states, kind of a nightmare scenario. the idea that young western passport holders would be a travel relatively freely, managed to simply go on line and make a direct connection with militant groups. the sentences were handed down for 10 years. there will be appealed by both sides. the men have protested their
innocence, saying they simply wanted to help fellow muslims in need and were planning to go to afghanistan. the prosecution says they are guilty and one the sentences doubled to 20 years. >> not just the united states are worried about them travelling to pakistan to make contact with militants. there was an awful lot of cooperation between pakistan and the cia, of course. >> what this case proves that what the case of phase of shahzad illustrates is that it is very difficult to keep track of everybody, and it is particularly difficult to keep track of what are known as people who do not have -- to keep track of people who do not have a record with law enforcement agencies either here and the united states. that was certainly the case with these five men. they were leading very quiet, unremarkable lives. they were students of the washington area and their own
families insist they have no suspicion that these young men had developed an interest in becoming involved in militancy. when they disappeared initially in december, it was the families who approached first of all community leaders and then law enforcement agencies because they were concerned for their sons' well-being. they had no idea they had come to pakistan and allegedly, as the prosecution maintains, managed to make a direct connection with militant groups. it is another illustration of how hard it is, even with the enhanced security cooperation that exists, to keep track of people who had never been suspected, never been on watch list, who and who held the western passports. one of the concerns raised by police in this case is perhaps these men would not have been used to carry out attacks here and might have been in a sense to valuable for that, and the militant groups may have sent them back to carry out a tax on home soil in the united states.
>> thank you very much indeed h. north korea is putting more pressure on the u.s. over an american is holding in jail. north korea said it would impose a harsher penalty on the men if united states continues its hostile approach to the country. he was arrested in january and charged with an illegal border crossing. now with news of a big change in australia and the rest of the day's made headlines -- >> australia has a new prime minister. the first time a woman has held the post. she is julia gillard. with more from sydney -- >> the tumble of events has been extraordinarily fast break the start of this year, polls suggested that kevin rudd remained australia's's most
popular prime minister in 30 years. but as he arrived for a meeting of his parliamentary colleagues, he knew the public and even more so his party, had turned against him. his once loyal deputy, julia gillard coming easily muster the votes to oust him. mr. rudd did not even contest the ballots, knowing he would suffer an embarrassing, lopsided defeat. the first female leader of her party, julia gillard will now become the first female prime minister in the 108-year history of modern australia. for kevin rudd got is a stunning reversal. australia had been one of the few countries to avoid recession in the global financial crisis. the talk was of a red era of government, to touching -- a list of a -- the talk was of a rudd era of government. many thought it was an act of political cowardice, and gutless
was the often heard word. other concerns about his style of leadership quickly came to the surface. his aloofness from colleagues and what many viewed as intellectual arrogance. he had always been much more popular with the australian people than with colleagues within the labor party. fearing he might lead them to defeat in the forthcoming federal election, now they have decided to dump him. nick bryant, bbc news, sydney. out of people have been killed after being hit by high-speed train -- >> at least 12 people have been killed after being hit by a high-speed train outside barcelona. the victims on their way to lead to be barrthe beach party bp says it has prepared a containment cap that has collected some of the oil leaking in the gulf of mexico. an underwater robot hit one of the vents and it had to be removed for repairs.
the accident had led to a fresh surge of hundreds of thousands of liters of oil into the ocean. an american man who traveled to pakistan to hunt for osama bin laden has returned to his home in the united states. gary falkner was arrested by the authorities in the mountains of afghanistan, armed with a pistol, a sort, night-vision equipment, and christian literature. >> thank you very much indeed. some breaking news that we are getting out of brussels. we are hearing that police have raided the headquarters of the building catholic church of chid sex abuse by church figures. it is part of an ongoing investigation in belgium. police entered the presence of the archdiocese north of the belgian capital, and they say they are trying to establish if the allegations of child abuse are backed up or not. the roman catholic church in belgium has been rocked earlier this year by child abuse allegations.
more details online and here as we get it. it has been a warm welcome for americans and afghan nato allies. general david petraeus takes over for general stanley mcchrystal, who was sacked yesterday after criticizing the president and other leading administration profit -- other leading administration officials. casualties are rising, and support in the west is waning. >> he is credited with reviving america's position in iraq. now david petraeus faces eight tougher challenge, replacing a man who he helped to groom as commander of allied forces in afghanistan. general stanley mcchrystal called for and got 30,000 more troops but was sacked for insubordination before the majority could get their feet on the ground.
>> this is a change in personnel, but it is not a change in policy. i pictured here with president obama's security team, many of whom his predecessor mocked in an article for "rolling stone magazine," general petraeus no is the strategy in afghanistan because he designed it. with the commander in chief -- one difference with the commander-in-chief -- his own timing. even the president's toughest critics have praised his selection for the job. >> we think there is no one more qualified or more outstanding leader than general petraeus, to achieve a successful conclusion of the afghan conflict. >> renown for his sharp mind and punishing work schedule, general petraeus displayed a rare glimpse of human frailty last week when he collapsed while giving evidence to a senate committee.
dehydration may prove easier to overcome than the taliban, however. the war in afghanistan has cost the lives of 76 native troops this month alone. have week the senate will b to approve the appointment, but that is expected to be a formality. he could be on the ground in afghanistan within a matter of weeks. david willis, bbc news, washington. but joining me now live from kabul is the top -- >> runnymeade now from cobble is -- will be a smooth transition ?uack quacks >> i do not see a lot of change, but i would also say probably that is part of the problem because it has not really worked yet.
>> that is the point, isn't it qua? why should he make it work when stanley mcchrystal could not ? >> we really need to understand that we cannot overcome the taliban with military means as a priority. what we need to do is shift to more political diplomatic means. i think there is no way around it and talking to the taliban. >> but even if you -- some of the things that stanley mcchrystal complain about in that article in "rolling stone" remain, i.e. that there are too many voices in making policy -- joe biden, the vice president, richard holbrooke, all sorts of voice is getting involved in complicating the operation. >> it is necessary for one
message, one strategy, more importantly. i am not sure whether mcchrystal complains about that -- he has been the one with the most resources here in afghanistan, and i think you would be better to shift parts of the mission, the political, diplomatic party that, to a politician. >> the man who will follow the president's line more than 10 in mcchrystal, in particular, in terms of withdrawing american troops by the summer of next year. >> well, that is the issue in kabul among afghans. they are afraid of the return of the taliban, obviously, and they need to make sure there is a joint strategy with the u.s.
government, the international committee, and also the afghan government. >> this is gmt. coming up, the world cup in south africa, with my colleague, david eades. >> and all-american hero has seen the u.s. scrape into the last 16 here. we have the action for you today at the world championship in italy. they are on the brink. >> rescue workers in brazil are searching for hundreds of people missing after floods swept away entire towns in the northeast of the country. heavy rains -- 44 people have been confirmed dead and at least 120,000 people remain homeless across the state. let's get our report from our brazilian correspondent. >> help is on the way for the
victims of the floods in the brazilian northeast. tons of food and clothing sent in by the government are reaching the affected towns with the help of the military, but there are over 120,000 homeless people to attend to. demands and expectations are high. >> our job is not to be gods or angels. we know in desperate moments people are putting all their hope in a helicopter. but now that the waters have receded, the authorities -- >> now that the waters have receded, the authorities have to deal with the aftermath of the tragedy. a field hospital has been set up in this town, which was almost completely destroyed last week when the river burst its banks. this account is among the most affected by the flooding. over 100 houses have been destroyed here, and there is one
thing that shows clearly the destructive power of the water -- the state of the railway. have a look at the tracks -- completely twisted as if they were made of plastic and not medal. people still roam around the debris in hope of the finfinding anything left of value, but most of them and their search empty- handed with serious doubts about the future. >> this is gmt from "bbc world news." on jonathan charles. caught in pakistan and sentenced, five americans, to 10 years in jail after being found guilty of plotting terrorist attacks. general david petraeus will take over nato forces in afghanistan after the sacking of stanley
mcchrystal. the aim is to highlight what it sees as one of its main policy successes. president obama is welcoming dmitri medvedev to the white house today. officials in washington went to moscow's support for iranian sanctions under the signing of a major nuclear treaty. tangible signs of the improvement, president obama's critics say there are to appeal -- say they are too conciliatory towards russia. america obviously likes this relationship. what is in it for russia? >> i would say that in general, the russian elite would like to integrate with the west. it is one of their basic aims since 1991. even symbolically, it is an important moment for president medvedev, because it shows russia is after all part of western civilization. however, politicians in -- what
ever politicians in brussels say about it. >> if you strip out the oil revenue in russia, the economy remains weak. >> that is partially true, and this is one of the main slogans on medvedev's political agenda, to modernize russia, to bring western, particularly american, technology to russia. the understanding of technology in russia remains not very good. for example, i was surprised yesterday to find out that the dead and his team tried to find -- that medvedev and his team tried to find some labs in california and they were surprised to find out that there are no labs there. this is all virtual science. >> one thing people often say to me when i am in moscow, on a
personal level, dmitri medvedev and president obama get on quite well. >> well, they belong to the same generation and they have relatively the same world view, and even their situations are pretty similar because, as we have seen from the recent sacking of the american commander in iraq, even president obama is not quite happy with his army commander and political establishment. the same can be true about medvedev. he has some problems with the police and the old army personnel and top brass, which he has to work with as president. >> that is a very interesting parallel. thank you for joining us live from moscow. we are getting a pretty good idea of how the next stage of the football world cup is shaping up in south africa. who is going through, including teams like the usa and england.
let's go live to cape town and join my colleague. >> thanks very much. it was the maverick british football coach that one said it only takes a second to score a goal. i wonder if landon donovan was listening, because the american striker scored for the usa after the full-time 90 minutes were up. but during the added time before the game was over. that goal made the difference and got the usa the most popular station of this world cup through to the last 16 at the expense of slovenia, with the smallest population here. let's get all the action from yesterdays's plight from nick marshall mccormack. >> united states went to their final game needing a result to reach the knockout stage. in 2006 they lost to gonna, that hear the motions were reversed -- they lost to ghana.
the u.s. continued to pound algeria's bat line, and they were finally rewarded when the poster boy of u.s. soccer, landon donovan, who taught himself in the right place at the right time. england got the result they needed, and with a hugely improved performance, but they still have some way to go if they want to be the best of the very best. jermain defoe's goal -- for the u.s.a., began against germany was not particularly scintillating, but the goal certainly was. it came from a young midfielder. the reward, if you can call it that -- germany in a game against england. australia beat the european opponent with goals from tim cahill and brett holman.
nick marshall mccormack, bbc news. >> today is the day for world champion to italy to see if they can progress to the last 16 as well. so far it looks like a typical italian fare. they played a key that you know, they have drawn two, they have just scored two goals. there are concerns that this time they are aging squads, not what they were four years ago and this is as good as it gets. they will be playing their last game of the group, taking on slovakia later on in johannesburg at ellis park, hoping they will get through. the dutch are playing here again in cape town a little bit later, and that is a game against cameron, who are already out -- against cameroon, who are already al. one side that certainly will not
do it this time because they are already at home are the french team. running right from the top of the establishment to the bottom, to the players themselves. they had arrived back in france. they travel back economy because the french federation said after their disgrace book performance, that is all they deserved. with that for now, back to you, jonathan. >> thank you very much. on this edition of gmt, our correspondent tells us that five americans have been sentenced in pakistan pipit the difficulty of tracking the threat from so-called clean scans, people who have never been in trouble before. that is all from this edition of gmt. stay with us right here on "bbc world news." >> hello and welcome.
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